Each year the Minnesota Department of Education requires schools submit a 10-year facilities maintenance plan. That plan outlines the projects each school district plans to do over the next decade to help sustain the buildings and grounds for the district.
Tom Anderson, Redwood Area School District director of finance, presented the most recent local plan to the Redwood Area Board of Education during its July 22 meeting.
According to Anderson, school districts have the ability to levy funds to do maintenance projects, with up to $380 per pupil unit available.
However, not all school districts are able to collect the full amount, as the funding available is based on the average age of all of a school district’s facilities. Those that are less than 35 years old receive a lower amount. In addition, the full allocation does not just come from the levy. The local funds are equalized with state aid.
Anderson said about 73 percent of the funding comes from the levy, with the rest being covered by the state. With the addition of the new Estebo Career Development and Training Center, the average age of the local facilities will drop, said Anderson, which means for a while the district will experience a slight drop in the facilities maintenance funding.
For the coming year, Anderson said the district is looking to receive about $415,000 in funding, adding the decrease in the coming years will be approximately $10-15,000 per year.
With its most recent funding for facilities maintenance, the school district has been able to upgrade some of the bathrooms at Redwood Valley and installed new carpet in the PAC.
Anderson said as the plan gets farther out from the current year, the projects become more general, as there are a number of uncertainties in terms of that funding for the district in the future. Some of the larger projects on the list include replacing the RVMS/HS main parking lot with concrete, as well as replacing the school’s gym floor.
The plan is a document Anderson said will change as new needs arise.
“The farther we go out the less sure we are of what will happen,” said Anderson.
The board approved the 10-year plan, which will now be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Education.
In other action during its meeting, the school board:
• Approved the employment of Brenda Rasmussen as a Reede Gray first-grade teacher at a salary of $60,000
• Approved the employment of Ann Goche as a middle-school math and science teacher at a salary of $60,000.
• Approved the employment of Andrea Iverson as a full-time social worker and student accountability advocate at a salary of $48,850.
• Accepted the resignation of Andrea Iverson as a full-time student accountability advocate.
• Accepted the resignation of Ann Goche from her position as a middle-school math and science teacher effective June 5, 2020.
• Approved the employment of Kelly Mellgren as head girls tennis coach at a stipend of $4,208, Courtney Bergeson as B-squad volleyball coach at a stipend of $3,364, Kallie Chesbrough as a C-squad volleyball coach at a stipend of $2,567 and Corrie Tews as a junior-high volleyball coach at a stipend of $1,956.
• Approved the substitute teacher compensation rate for the 2019-20 school year at $130 per day.
• Approved the salary for school board members at $600 per year, with $300 added for the board chair.